I recently returned home from a dream vacation to the Maldives. This was a major bucket list trip and it was even better than I thought it would be! If you want to do a similar vacation then you are in the right place. With credit card points and miles visiting the Maldives doesn’t have to be some far-off dream, you can make it a reality! Today I’m going to share with you the best credit cards for a Maldives vacation to help you get started. In this post, I’ll go over some different options for getting the points for your flights and hotels and then conclude by giving you a step-by-step approach to what I would do.
On the way to the Maldives, we flew Emirates but they have since increased the number of points required for their flights and the taxes and fees. What will be cheaper and easier is to do what we did flying home and that was Qatar Airways Qsuite business class. This is what I would recommend for anyone who wants to do this trip in business class or even economy. Qatar is said to be the best airline in the world so if you have to be in economy for that long might as well do it on Qatar!
American Airlines is part of the same airline alliance (One World) as Qatar Airways which means you can use your American Airlines miles to book Qatar flights right on the American Airlines website. It will cost you 70,000 AA miles to fly from the US to the Maldives in business class and 40,000 miles in economy (these prices are for one-way flights).
You can read this post about how I used American Airlines miles to book our flights home along with how I booked the rest of my trip.
American Airlines doesn’t partner with any of the major transferable points programs but they do have credit cards with both Citi and Barclays. Here are my favorite cards that earn AA miles:
Citi AAdvantage Platinum Select World Elite Mastercard: At the time of writing you’ll earn 50,000 AA miles after spending $2,500 in three months. The $99 annual fee is waived the first year. I love that the annual fee is waived that first year!
Citi AAdvantage Business Platinum Select: Currently, you’ll earn 65,000 miles after spending $4,000 on this card in 4 months. Once again, the $99 annual fee is waived the first year! If you put $5,000 of spending on the card instead of the required $4,000 you’ll have 70,000 points needed to book a one-way flight in Qsuite!
Barclays AAdvantage Aviator Red Mastercard: At the time of writing you’ll earn 50,000 miles after you make one purchase on the card. That’s it, one purchase! I bought a pack of gum and a box of Bandaids when I got this card for myself. You will have to pay the $99 annual the first year as well. I have seen this card go up to 60,000 miles many times so you may want to wait and see if it goes back up to 60,000.
Barclays AAdvantage Aviator Business Mastercard: I highly recommend this card if you have a business or side gig! I got this one and used it for one of our flights. At the time of writing, you’ll get 60,000 miles after spending $1,000 in 3 months plus if you add an authorized user to the card and they make one purchase you’ll get another 10,000 points. Just what you need to get a business class flight in Qsuite!
We recently wrote about how you can now use British Airways Avios to book Qatar Qsuite. This makes those credit cards that have British Airways as a partner much more valuable if you want to go to the Maldives. These include:
British Airways will charge you 85,000 Avios one-way in business class from the US to the Maldives plus around $200 in taxes and fees. If you are looking to do economy it will be 42,500 Avios plus around $130.
Of these credit card programs listed above the ones that interest me the most are:
Chase Sapphire Preferred: At the time of writing this card has a limited-time increased bonus of 80,000 points. You’ll get the points after spending $4,000 on the card in 3 months. After meeting your minimum spend you could have or be really close to getting those 85,000 points needed.
Capital One Venture X: With this card, you’ll earn 75,000 miles after spending $4,000 in 3 months. You earn 2 points for each dollar you spend so if you spend $5,000 on the card you’ll have the 85,000 points needed to book Qsuite. If you refer a spouse or partner and they have never had any Capital One cards you will earn another 25,000 miles. This card has quickly become my second favorite card, right behind the Chase Sapphire Preferred.
American Express Gold Card: The public offer on this card isn’t very good but there are some referrals showing 90,000 points! Last I checked our link was showing the 90,000 bonus.
In addition to cards that transfer to British Airways, you could also just get the Chase British Airways Visa Signature Card. That makes it even more simple. Better yet, the bonus on this card at the time of writing is 100,000 Avios after spending $5,000 in 3 months!
Citibank credit cards that earn ThankYou Points transfer directly to Qatar. The Citi Premier Card is our favorite card for earning ThankYou Points. At the time of writing this card has a bonus of 60,000 miles. What we really like about this card is that it earns 3x the points at gas stations, dining out, shopping markets, on flights, and hotels. This card also has a lower annual fee than some of the others at $95.
Hilton, Hyatt, IHG, and Marriott all have hotels in the Maldives that you can book with points.
If you have a stash of Hilton points you might want to check out the new Hilton Maldives Amingiri Resort and Spa. It opens in September 2022. You can book an overwater pool villa for 110,000 points a night. If the idea of taking a seaplane freaks you out then I have good news for you, this resort is a 20-minute boat ride from Male.
What I would do, and hope to do in the future, would be to book the Hyatt Alila Maldives. This property opens in April but is bookable with points right now. It is a category 7 Hyatt hotel so prices will be 25,000, 30,000, or 35,000 points a night depending on when you visit.
I would also look into the Park Hyatt Maldives. This resort is a little older but I have heard nothing but great things about it. It is also a category 7 hotel so will run from 25,000 to 35,000 points a night. With Hyatt being a transfer partner of Chase Ultimate Rewards and having lower redemptions rates than the other hotel brands it makes it a great choice!
I would recommend getting a Chase Sapphire Preferred and a Hyatt card. You can transfer those points from your Sapphire Preferred directly to Hyatt making it a great choice! Also, look into referring your spouse/partner to those same cards. There are more cards that offer Hyatt points than just those two. We’ll send you are PDF download with all the cards that offer Hyatt points. Just click here, drop in your email, and we’ll send it to you.
We stayed at the Le Meridien Maldives using Marriott points. We loved this resort and would totally recommend it if you have a bunch of Marriott points. Prices here range from 50,000 to 70,000 points a night. I recommend using the flexible dates calendar and searching one night at a time. When booking with Marriott you’ll get the 5th night free when you book 4 nights on points. I would recommend signing up when Marriott cards are offering 100,000 points or more. You can check out this post to see what the current offers are.
Assuming you are starting from scratch here is a step-by-step outline of what I would do to get this vacation on points. I’m going to show you how to get the points to fly Qatar Qsuite but if you plan to fly economy you won’t need as many points. If you aren’t starting from scratch you can use this outline to help you fill in those missing pieces. Keep in mind there are many different ways to visit the Maldives on points. This is just one way.
If you already have those cards or want to stay longer then get our guide to more Hyatt points.
That would be enough points for two round-trip tickets on Qatar Qsuite. Check out this post to see how to qualify for a business card before you write off the possibility of business cards for yourself.
Here is an option if you don’t qualify for business cards.
Alternatively, you could open the Citi AAdvantage Platinum Select Mastercard and the Barclays personal card along with one of those cards listed above and have the necessary points as well. You would book one flight directly on AA and the other through British Airways.
By opening some of these best credit cards for a Maldives vacation you can make your dream vacation a reality! There are a lot of ways to get the points to do this trip. This is great news because it means this doesn’t have to be a once-in-a-lifetime vacation. Will you be opening some new cards for a Maldives vacation?